The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Bucknell students teach poetry workshops in Lewisburg schools

For April’s National Poetry Month, Bucknell students and faculty have taken to every classroom K-12 in every school in the Lewisburg Area School District to teach generative poetry workshops. The program, led by Jessica Nirvana Ram, the Publicity and Outreach Manager for the Stadler Center and Associate Editor for the “West Branch” literary magazine, as well as Professor Joe Scapellato, intends to show that poetry is accessible to everyone of all ages, and that poetry is something that anyone can do if they want to. The program also allowed Bucknell students to get first hand experience teaching poetry to the younger students. Bucknell students included Ryleigh Roberts ’24, Rebecca Heintzelman ’24 , Lyndon Beier ’27, Lillian Dwyer ’26, Camoni Mullins-Warren ’25, Kailey Schaubhut ’25, Joselyn Busato ’24, Grace O’Meara ’24, Kaelyn Jasina ’26, Anna Wayland ’26, Georgie Roache ’25 and Julia Schaer ’26. 

“Our goal is to get poetry into the community, and this feels like a concrete way to do that,” said Ram.

From the Bucknell student perspective, the program was immensely rewarding: “It was really cool to go and talk to kids in the local schools about poetry because all the different grades had different ideas of what poetry is and could be, and it was exciting to break those conceptions of what poetry is limited to,” said Roach. “I had not really been exposed to varying forms and free verse before college classes, so I felt like I was giving them a head start in that process of understating and creating poetry, and it was really interesting to see what younger minds do with language and ideas when there are less restricted in structure and expression.” 

Another rewarding aspect of the program was discovering talent in these young writers. Below is a poem written by fourth grader Adleigh Muir, titled “The Thumbtack to the Pin Coushin”:

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After all the workshops have been completed, interested Lewisburg Area students will have the opportunity to submit their original poems to the Stadler Center faculty and students. One student from each grade level will then be selected and invited to read their poetry to an audience during a free, public event on Wednesday, May 1, at 5 p.m. in Bucknell Hall, home to the Stadler Center.

Ram and Scapellato would like to make the Stadler Center’s National Poetry Month Project with Lewisburg Area schools an annual event in hopes of inspiring future young poets. The Stadler Center seeks to foster an appreciation for the diversity and richness of contemporary poetry and other literary arts in the Lewisburg Area students.

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Aaron Chin
Aaron Chin, Arts & Culture Co-Editor

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